French private pharmaceutical group Pierre Fabre has signed a new definitive purchase agreement to acquire several assets from US biotechnology company Igenica Biotherapeutics.

Based in Burlingame, California, Igenica focuses on the discovery and development of antibodies in the field of immune-oncology and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to treat patients suffering from cancer.

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Pierre Fabre pharmaceutical research and development head Laurent Audoly said: “This agreement is in line with recent collaborations signed by Pierre Fabre with biotechnology companies and academic laboratories in the fields of oncology and dermatology and confirms our research and development dynamic through external partners.”

The scope of the deal covers immunotherapies targeting immune checkpoints that may reverse the resistance to existing immunotherapies.

Pierre Fabre pharmaceutical division chief executive officer Frédéric Duchesne said: “Pierre Fabre’s know-how in oncology is based on more than 30 years of experience.

"This new deal reinforces our position to participate in the revolution of targeted biotherapies and our commitment to bring substantial value to patients."

“We have two recognised research and development centres with dedicated teams that work closely together to developing medicines for patients living with cancer.

“This new deal reinforces our position to participate in the revolution of targeted biotherapies and our commitment to bring substantial value to patients.”

The company’s most advanced asset is currently at preclinical stage and expected to be used for the treatment of patients with cancer over the next two to three years.

The agreement also includes a series of early discovery targets.

Under the deal, Pierre Fabre has purchased the full property of the assets at undisclosed financial terms.